Great universities have to adapt to changes

According to Kari Raivio, the Chancellor of the University of Helsinki, the great universities are durable institutions with a healthy core and important mission, but they too have to adapt to ever changing circumstances.

- In todayŽs world, the biggest threats to the autonomy of most universities are economic realities. There is no freedom of inquiry, if a university has to go begging, either to government bureaucrats or to industrial buyers of research or education services, states Raivio in his dinner speech at the meeting of the European Business Leaders Convention (EBLC).

According to Chancellor Raivio the great universities cannot survive, if they do not have a high level of ambition in setting their goals and an uncompromising quest for quality. Still despite of all the threats Raivio believes in the glorious future of the universities.

- A knowledge-based economy cannot function without a constant supply of fundamental research findings to be applied and developed into products and services, nor without a constant supply of a competent workforce. Science is the engine of progress, and every nation as well as every enterprise has to decide, how best to support the creation, transfer, and exploitation of knowledge, says Raivio.

During the three day European Business Leaders Convention, held last week in Helsinki, over 70 business leaders from 21 countries discussed about Europe’s competitiveness and contemplated among other things over the development of higher education.
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